Critical Needs Assessment
Case Western Reserve University is collecting data to ensure business continuity in the event of a major loss of normal abilities to provide critical services at the University. For example, such emergencies might include extended power loss, pandemic influenza, massive storm damage, or other large-scale emergencies. Part of data collection involves tabulation of the locations of critical infrastructure and research materials that will require special attention to prevent loss or damage during an emergency event.
On either form, please list all critical equipment and research materials as described below. This information will then be shared with critical emergency management operations at the University. Include in your response:
- Experiments that would be critically affected that involved more than three months of laboratory commitment.
- Chemicals stored that may become unstable if warmed to room temperature or exposed to altered humidity conditions
- Cultures, cell lines, or other biological materials that must remain cold or frozen with inclusion of temperature at which they must be maintained.
- Specific resources that might not otherwise be accounted for such as fish tanks requiring air pumps not in the care of ARC personnel
- Devices that require cryogenic liquids including large instruments and Dewar’s holding critical or dangerous samples
- Other critical equipment or materials as determined by the Primary Investigator
Please do not include equipment that can be placed into a state of suspension by laboratory personnel unless special help might be required to temporarily ensure loss of materials does not occur. However, a plan must be in place within the laboratory to handle these types of equipment. Please do not include cell lines or cultures that are replaceable by ordering from a standard source such as The American Type Cultures Collection.
This information will be requested on a yearly basis. If your needs change between notification periods, you should inform DOES of these matters if you wish to ensure that special efforts will be made on your behalf.
Preparation for an unexpected loss of utility, prolonged operational lose, or pandemic flu incident
One to three day event: An event of this duration can usually be accommodated utilizing normal procedures provided that adequate preparation is taken to maintain proper stocking levels of needed critical items such as dry ice, cryogenic liquids, blanket gases such as CO2, or other such expendable materials. Procedures for handling of animals must also be considered.
Three day to 2 week event: An event of this duration begins to threaten the ability of some laboratories to maintain active viral and cell culture stocks. Consideration of the freezing of supplies must be considered at this point.
Exhaustion of cryogenic materials is a real possibility in an event of this duration. If you have devices that must be maintained by cryogenic materials, consideration should be given to shutting down such equipment and placing it in a stasis mode.
Water may not be available past three days. Consideration must be taken to shutdown devices cooled by water and to stockpile water for fish tanks and other animals.
Two week or longer event: An event of this magnitude will require the preservation of all cell lines, viral stocks, and bacterial stocks. The maintenance of dry ice, cryogenic materials, CO2, and other expendable critical items will be threatened and possible not be available. Clean water will most likely not be available and food for animals may begin to run out. The choice to euthanize animals and store frozen embryos will need to be made in order to preserve irreplaceable lines.
Utilizing these lines of thinking and time frames, think about the work in your laboratory and start to consider the impact the loss of service may have on your research program. Begin to assemble Standard Operating Procedures to deal with these issues in order that you may mitigate to the greatest extent possible the damage from these types of events.
If you have experiments that extend over a long time period such as 6 months or longer, you need to identify these projects to the University so that plans can be put in motion to prevent the disruption of your research program.